A police K-9 died inside squad car in Indiana, police say.
His handler apparently failed to remove him from the back of his squad car, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to WANE-TV.
According to a press release sent to WANE-TV, DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department School Resource Officer Courtney Fuller and K-9 Mojo came back from duty at 3 p.m. Thursday.
Fuller became distracted by a “situation” involving his newborn child, and he apparently forgot the dog was inside the car, the release stated.
Fuller noticed that Mojo wasn’t in the kennel and went out to the squad car, noticing the dog had died of a heat stroke.
He contacted a supervisor about the dog’s death, and an investigation has been launched. The dog was taken to Purdue University for a necropsy to confirm the cause of death.
“The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department regrets this tragic mistake and mourns the loss of one of its members,” Sherrif Don Lauer wrote in a release.
Temperatures in DeKalb County reached around 70 degrees Fahrenheit on Friday, July 7. But temperatures inside a hot car on a 70-degree day can soar to 100 degrees or more.
Last October, USA Today reported that police K-9s are increasingly dying in hot cars. At least a dozen died in heat-related incidents last year.
An Oklahoma deputy was fired last August after his K-9 died while in his car, KFOR-TV reported.
“The handler has the utmost responsibility to make sure that that dog is well taken care of,” Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney said at the time.
“A tremendous amount of work goes into the dogs and not only with their dogs but with their handlers. Those two become partners,” McKinney elaborated, adding that the dog was in the car for 36 hours. “We will replace [the dog] and remember him, but we’ll continue.”